Slow-Cooker Squash, Millet & Lentil Dal with Herbed Yogurt

Slow-Cooker Squash, Millet & Lentil Dal with Herbed Yogurt

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From: EatingWell Magazine, September 2019

This slow-cooker dal recipe has a range of pleasing textures: red lentils and millet break down as they cook, and the toor dal, which are split pigeon peas, stay toothsome. Look for all three ingredients at Indian markets or natural-foods stores. The crock pot does most of the work for this healthy vegetarian recipe, and a quick herbed yogurt added just before serving brightens up the flavors. Bonus: Both the dal and the yogurt can be made ahead and the leftovers are wonderful.

Ingredients 8 servings

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  • 4 cups cubed peeled winter squash (1¼ pounds; 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • ½ cup toor dal (split pigeon peas), rinsed
  • ⅓ cup millet
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chile powder (see Tips)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or canola oil
  • 15 fresh curry leaves (see Tips) (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
  • Pinch of asafetida (see Tips)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Herbed Yogurt
  • 2 cups whole-milk plain yogurt
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • Pinch of salt


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Combine squash, lentils, toor dal, millet, chile powder, coriander, 1½ teaspoons salt, cumin, turmeric and pepper in a 4- to 7-quart slow cooker. Add water and cover. Cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare herbed yogurt: Whisk yogurt, ¾ cup cilantro, mint and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Just before serving, heat ghee (or oil) in a small skillet over medium heat. Add curry leaves (if using), cumin seeds, mustard seeds and asafetida; cook, stirring, until the seeds start to pop and darken in color, about 30 seconds; immediately scrape into the slow cooker and cover.
  4. Add corn to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the corn to the slow cooker and gently stir to combine. Serve topped with the yogurt and garnished with cilantro, if desired.
  • Tips: Made from Indian Kashmiri chiles, Kashmiri chile powder has mild heat and a vibrant red hue. Look for it at Indian markets or online. For a substitute, use regular chili powder.
  • Used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, asafetida (as-uh-fet-i-duh) is known for its distinct, slightly sulfurous aroma that works synergistically with other spices to enhance them—similar to the way anchovies can amp up a dish's flavor without you knowing they're there. You can find the spice at Indian markets or online.
  • Curry leaves are native to South Asia. They have a faint citrusy flavor. Find fresh curry leaves in the produce section (and sometimes in the freezer) at Asian markets and some natural-foods stores. Freeze extra leaves airtight for up to 2 months.
  • To make ahead: Refrigerate dal (Step 1) for up to 2 days. Refrigerate herbed yogurt (Step 2) for up to 2 days.
  • Equipment: 4- to 7-qt. slow cooker

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup dal & ¼ cup herbed yogurt
  • Per serving: 306 calories; 8 g fat(4 g sat); 8 g fiber; 48 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 157 mcg folate; 15 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 8,009 IU vitamin A; 19 mg vitamin C; 164 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 502 mg sodium; 826 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (160% daily value), Folate (39% dv), Vitamin C (32% dv), Iron (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 lean protein, ½ fat

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